Never wear heels. Ever. Whoever thought brick was a good idea, historic she'd heard it called, needed a good smack. The thousands of cracks sat like baited traps, waiting for anyone foolish enough to try stilettos instead of flats. She cursed the man, it had to have been a man, who made that amazingly stupid decision so many years ago. Carefully picking her way through the minefield she at last came to the house. She didn't have the address, but the flashes in the window and the music leaking onto the street were clearer than any sign. The steps were cement, thank God, and about as even as anything on this aging street. The door swung open and she leaned into the doorway, bathed in light and sound.
Without having to ask, he knew what the answer would be. He stood there, frozen, before her door, wanting to knock. His hand hung motionless in mid-air as if held by some force-field. Then he realized how ridiculous he looked and he stepped back, letting his hand fall limp by his side. She'd never say yes anyway, yeah, it's not worth asking. Having convinced himself of this, he returned to his room. Despondent, and looking forward to another weekend doomed to Stargate Atlantis, he gathered his laundry that lay strewn about the floor. He grabbed the hamper and headed to the elevator. Might as well do something productive. When the doors swung open he stepped in. The doors closed. And then opened again. She hopped in, breathless, and looked at him. She dress, her hair, her heels all said she was going out. They exchanged weak smiles and stared at the doors.
She sat behind the counter, watching the clock hands slowly march towards midnight. She hated the graveyard shift, especially tonight. Earlier she had watched waves of faces with plastic cups and fruit juice file by. She knew they'd be back tomorrow for Advil and water. But for the moment she envied them. As the little hand crossed ten her phone lit up. And now the texts begin. Where are you? Wanna go out? I know this great party tonight. Can I borrow that one black dress? This was the worst part. Every week she let them know she couldn't go out tonight, that they should have fun, but please don't text her. And every week, after drink three or four most of them forgot.